We live in an age rich with invaluable data that offers brands and businesses a wealth of insight into the thoughts, feelings, needs and desires of their target audience. And these insights are invaluable to the ongoing success of any organization.
But, with a wealth of metrics available readily at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to focus on the data alone and move away from one of the most important elements of any successful digital marketing campaign: the human aspect.
Studies suggest that consumers are 53% more likely to engage with a business they can contact in real-time - a testament to the vital importance of personal connections in today’s hyper-connected digital age.
With so many touchpoints and so much to consider, appealing to the right customers in a way that isn’t viewed as promotional or overly corporate can seem like a colossal challenge. In this article we explore how to humanize your organization's digital marketing efforts.
As humans, the ability to empathize is a critical element of forging and developing relationships with others. That said, if your company is able to drive empathy through your digital marketing campaigns or communications, you will stand a greater chance of encouraging your audience to connect.
Empathy allows us to feel, share and react - and by driving empathy, your brand will ultimately open up a two-way dialogue with prospects as opposed to talking at them.
By using key demographic data alongside comprehensive buyer personas to really drill down into your audience and understand them on a personal level, while making social listening a pivotal part of your campaign planning process, your marketing team will be able to create a host of content that evokes empathy, creating inspiration, offering ad encouraging positive engagement as a result.
To drive empathy and engage its consumers on a personal level, the natural cosmetics brand, LUSH, created a video mini-series called 'How It's Made', which delved behind the scenes of the business, offering an insight into the individuals that make the brand's most pivotal products.
As educational as it is entertaining, not only does this campaign offers a real sense of transparency, by providing the consumer a vivid glimpse into the brand's core values, but the visually inspiring nature of the videos encourages the viewer to forge a deeper connection with the business.
Enhance your brand storytelling
Today's digital consumers respond to a solid narrative, which is why brand storytelling is an incredibly valuable marketing tool in today's world.
From the days of primitive man, human beings have told stories to pass on wisdom, entertain, inspire and communicate on a deep, personal level. And in the modern world, this notion remains the same - it's just that now, we have many more platforms, mediums and touchpoints through which we can tell our stories.
With 45% of a brand’s image attributed to what it says and how it says it, telling your story in an engaging, entertaining and relatable way is essential if you want to boost awareness and encourage the right people to connect with your institution.
Experts believe that brand storytelling is the future of content marketing strategy and help organization plan, build, develop and deliver your narrative in a way that will engage your audience on a meaningful level.
Act in real-time
At present, 77% of people won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option.
Today's digital natives crave answers to their questions and solutions to their problems in an instant, which means the ability to spark up conversations and react to your prospects in real-time is an invaluable way to demonstrate your brand’s human side.
In the digital realm, people expect a personalized relationship with brands and expect communications that are tailored to their specific queries, curiosities, needs and problems.
By ensuring that every one of your people-facing touchpoints is responsive, providing immediate answers to queries, timely solutions to problems and sharing the right content with the right people, at the right time, you will ultimately forge relationships that will add value to the growth and evolution of your brand.
Add elements of automation
While automation may seem out of place here, autonomous technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help your business, not only in terms of your real-time responsiveness but with broader digital marketing initiatives.
Of all the autonomous technologies that have emerged in recent years, chatbots are perhaps the most valuable when it comes to humanizing marketing with robotic assistance.
Take tech provider, MongoDB for instance. In the wake of the success of its online chat service, the business began to struggle to meet growing consumer demand, and as a result, their communications became less frequent and more impersonal.
To tackle this issue and humanize their communications while giving its sales and marketing teams to focus on other areas of the business, MongoDB teamed up with developer Drift, using 'Leadbot' to make sure that members of the sales team only conversed with those deemed most likely to engage and convert, allowing the personable machine learning entities to cover all general inquiries.
As a result of this chatbot-led initiative, the company boosted its overall messaging response by 100% while enjoying a notable increase in conversions.
Encourage brand advocacy
When it comes to humanizing digital marketing efforts, brand advocacy is a potent tool.
90% of people trust the thoughts, feelings and opinions of their peers over traditional advertising. Moreover, brand messages are more 24 times more likely to be shared if distributed to a brand's employees as opposed to the brand itself.
By using staff or loyal customers to share your brand message, participate on social media, create content targeted at what you’ve identified to be most valuable to your prospects, you will make your digital marketing activities human in ways that will showcase your value in a way that traditional advertising fails to do.
To use brand advocacy successfully, your company will need to provide an opportunity for human intervention by sparking up conversations on social media, asking questions, creating interactive content, creating quizzes and hosting competitions that require response and reaction. Moreover, engaging staff is critical to driving brand advocacy and expanding reach to new and potentially invested audiences.
While data is integral to your ability to develop and evolve your marketing efforts, making informed decisions that drive growth and evolution, the way in which you deliver your initiatives will ultimately determine your success.
Take the time to humanize your organization's marketing efforts today to reap the rewards long into the future.